Mariano Alvarez

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Mariano Alvarez (b. March 15, 1818 - d. August 25, 1924), a native of Noveleta, Cavite, was a revolutionary general, a statesman, and a teacher.

Early life

Mariano was the son of Severino Alvarez and Maria Malia. He started his formal education when he was ten years old at the town's friar school and graduated in San Jose College in Manila as a teacher. As a student, Mariano enjoyed reading corridos like Los Siete Infantes de Lara and Doce Fares which opened his mind to the tyranny of the Spaniards in the Philippines.

After Mariano graduated, he practiced teaching at Naic and Maragondon, Cavite. In May 1863, he married Nicolasa Virata y del Rosario with whom he had Santiago as their only child. The younger Santiago would later become a noted revolutionary general like his father, Mariano.

Inside the cell

Mariano's hatred for the Spanish tyranny first manifested in 1871 when he ordered that a cup of dirty water be given to a Spanish soldier who had been thrown off his horse. Mariano was then hauled off to the headquarters the next day where he was tortured. The town's people appealed for his life from the provincial governor, who later decided to spare Mariano's life.

In 1872, he was again arrested and tortured for possessing an autographed photo of Father Jose A. Burgos. He was placed in solitary confinement, chained on his neck and legs to secure him in the corner of the cell and to prevent him from making unnecessary movements, and was fed one meal each day. Mariano, together with other suspected rebels, were about to be exiled to Manila when a letter to the officer-in-charge ordered their release.

As a revolutionary

In early 1896, Alvarez was elected president of the Magdiwang faction of the Katipunan in Cavite. The other faction, the Magdalo, was led by General Baldomero Aguinaldo. He also helped in organizing and expanding the revolutionary movement in the said province. He ordered the destruction of the Dalahican bridge to prevent the entry of the Spaniards, and led an ambush to stop them from crossing the Calero Bridge.

With his many contributions and victories, Alvarez was named general and second-in-command by Andres Bonifacio in late 1896. In 1897, the revolutionaries retreated to Biak-na-Bato but Alvarez refused to do so as he was still grieving for the Supremo's death. He was not even present during the signing of the declaration of independence in Kawit on June 12, 1898.

Eventually, the Americans took over the Philippines after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1898. Under the Americans, Alvarez immediately joined the Nacionalista Party and was later elected municipal president of Noveleta.

After his term as town president, he retired to his farm and devoted himself to agriculture. In the morning of August 25, 1924, Mariano Alvarez died of chronic rheumatism at a rather advanced age of 106.


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